Ambassador Rajendra Abhyankar joined College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University in on May 1,2021 where he has an appointment in the Department of Political Science and History. He is also Senior Fellow at the Center for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue University. He earlier taught for eight years as Professor of Practice of Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Ambassador Abhyankar has had an illustrious career, spanning 36 years, in the Indian diplomatic service retiring in 2005 as India’s Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Other notable posts include serving as Consul General of India in San Francisco, Ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan and Ambassador to Syria. Given his high-level experience in many strategic areas, Ambassador Abhyankar brings a wealth of expertise regarding diplomacy and statecraft, Middle Eastern politics, nuclear policy, civil war and conflict, as well as tech policy and economic development.
Abhyankar has written several books, including a memoir of his time as a diplomat titled Stuff Happens: An Anecdotal Insight into Indian Diplomacy (2013), Indian Diplomacy: Beyond Strategic Autonomy (2018), Syria: The Tragedy of a Pivotal State (2020) and a novel The Crossing (2013) set in Sri Lanka. A frequent speaker and commentator on topics in international affairs he is a linguist given the many years he spent in diverse countries. He reads, writes and speaks Italian, and French fluently and speaks (and reads) Greek and Turkish and speaks Arabic.
The robust use of technology in international affairs will define the future practice of diplomacy and, more importantly, the strength of democracy, human rights and prosperity in the US and the democratic world.